Traditional recipes

Beef meatball and lentil soup recipe

Beef meatball and lentil soup recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Beef soup

A super-hearty soup, made by simmering together meatballs, rice and lentils in a tomato soup base. It's the perfect soup to enjoy during the cold winter months. Serve with crusty bread, if desired.

17 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 190g lentils
  • 2 litres water, divided
  • 125g uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 450g minced beef
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons Italian breadcrumbs
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 litre passata
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese for topping

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:1hr30min ›Ready in:1hr45min

  1. Place lentils in a pot with 700ml water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and cook 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Bring rice and 300ml water to the boil in a pot. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. In a bowl, combine the minced beef, beaten egg, garlic, 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, parsley, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
  4. Form minced beef mixture into 2.5cm balls. Place meatballs in frying pan and cook 5 minutes or until evenly brown.
  5. In a large pot, bring the passata and 1 litre water to the boil. Transfer the browned meatballs to the pot.
  6. Mix in cooked lentils and rice. Return to the boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese to serve.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(20)

Reviews in English (16)

by Kristin

FYI - This recipe was completely overhauled from my original version. Keep in mind that this dish should be thick enough to almost hold a spoon up in it. I hope this version still does my recipe justice.-08 Feb 2007

by melodee

4 stars as written, 5 stars with some adjustments I made. I didn't have to let the rice cook for 20 minutes because it would have burned. I also didn't have to drain the lentils, because after they simmered for 20 mins it was basically a mushy soup itself. I added a lot of dried basil, garlic salt, oregano and more parsley to both the meatballs and the soup itself. The soup was wonderful and hearty - but definitely needed the extra spices for flavor.-09 Sep 2008

by xezer

This was a terrific recipe for using up a lot of leftovers we had hanging around. I used some homemade meat sauce instead of the separate meatballs - and it turned out beautifully. Even our kids loved it. Beware, though - this makes a BIG pot!-05 Mar 2007

Mexican Meatball Soup (Albondigas Soup)

This Mexican meatball soup is simple to make and absolutely delicious. We make it with small, rice-studded meatballs (albondigas), a few veggies, and a rich and tasty broth. You'll love it!

Complete the meal with a thick slice of buttered no yeast bread with herbs and cheese. And if you love soup recipes, also try our Italian sausage soup and our chicken vegetable soup!

What you’ll need to make Italian Wedding Soup

For the meatballs, my secret is to add ground sausage to the beef mixture this adds tons of flavor without the need for a lot of other seasonings.

Note that the recipe calls for regular (not low-sodium) chicken and beef broth. I find the soup to be a bit bland with the low-sodium varieties but if you special dietary considerations, go ahead and use low-sodium and season to taste before serving.


In a Med/Large Pot combine water and Lentils. Boil for 1 minute the reduce heat to low simmer 15 minutes.

Add all remaining ingredients except Sazon and wine. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to a simmer for 45 minutes.

Remove Bay leaf, Basil leaves, and Ham shank. Remove the meat from the shank and shred. Place ham shank meat back into pot. Add wine. Add Sazon if needed. Stir and cook for 5 more minutes.

You can find the recipe for Sazon on my page.

(HINT: If you can not find a ham shank you can use some bacon and some cooking ham chopped or diced. You can also add carrots if you like. You can also just add salt and pepper if you like. The longer you let the soup rest and removed from heat the thinker it will become.)

The Skinny on CrockPot Italian Meatball Soup

To make this slow cooker Italian meatball soup lighter, healthier and more Weight Watchers friendly, I:

  • Substituted Kroger reduced-fat turkey meatballs for beef meatballs.
  • Added 1-1/2 cups of sliced mushrooms to increase the soup’s bulk and make it more filling. (Chopped spinach or kale would be good too.)
  • I also added salt, pepper and Italian seasoning for more flavor.

The recipe says to add the frozen mixed vegetables in during the last hour of cooking, which will prevent them from getting too mushy. But if you prefer them really soft add them in the beginning with everything else.

Beef and Lentil Soup Recipe

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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 (32 ounce) cartons chicken broth
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups dry lentils
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Season the beef with salt and pepper, then gently place into the hot oil, and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Once browned, remove the beef and set aside, reserving the remaining oil in the pot. Stir in the celery, carrot, onion, garlic, cilantro, and oregano cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 8 minutes more.

Pour in the chicken broth, tomatoes, and browned beef. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the meat is beginning to turn tender, about 1 hour.

After the soup has simmered 1 hour, add the lentils, recover, and continue simmering until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the parsley. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to serve.

Albondigas Soup Recipe

Place all the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl. Combine the ingredients until they’re all incorporated.

Form the meat mixture into 1-inch sized balls.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place the meatballs on a lined cookie sheet. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until cooked through.

While the meatballs are baking, get going on the soup.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot and cook the onions until soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add all remaining ingredients, except for the cilantro. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the baked meatballs and cilantro and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Dish up the Albondigas Soup and serve sprinkled with some chopped cilantro.

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. For the Meatballs, mix ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, cilantro, chili sauce, garlic powder and ginger in large bowl until well blended.

SHAPE into 1-inch meatballs. Arrange meatballs in single layer on foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan.

BAKE 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through. Drain fat, if needed. Set aside.

FOR the Pho Soup, pour broth into large saucepan. Bring to boil on medium heat. Add noodles and meatballs cook and stir 3 minutes or until noodles are tender but firm. Remove from heat. Stir in bean sprouts, cilantro and green onions. Ladle soup into bowls to serve.

Easy Pressure Cooker Italian Meatball Soup

Instant Pot Italian Meatball Soup is the perfect easy meal you can put on the table in 30 minutes or less. With budget-friendly ingredients and thanks to using frozen, store-bought meatballs, this delicious soup is easy breezy to make.

Made with juicy meatballs, marinara sauce, crushed tomatoes and topped with cheese, this meal is pure comfort food. Instant Pot Italian Meatball Soup is best served with fresh, crusty bread, and use lots of it for dipping into the soul-warming tomato broth.

An easy dinner option that&rsquos perfect for a busy weeknight! Also, it is perfect to enjoy during colder winter days, as is guaranteed to warm up your souls!

Instant Pot Italian Meatball Soup Recipe Tips:

  • Firstly, I prefer to use frozen fully cooked meatballs, because they already have a nice golden-brown color. However, you can make your own, freshly made meatballs. If decided to make from scratch, go with 90% lean ground beef.
  • In addition, I kept the vegetables to the minimum in this soup, because I wanted a rich tomato broth. You can add 1 cup of celery or 3 potatoes.
  • Also, beans are a great addition too. You can add a can of cannellini beans. Make sure you rinse the beans before adding them to the pot.
  • You should taste and adjust for salt, pepper, and spiciness.


This is an easy dish to adjust based on your own preferences. For example, you can make it with other meats, such as Italian sausages, or other veggies. Here are some of our favorite ways to swap the ingredients:

  • Sausage: Go with 50% Italian sausage, 50% ground beef in the meatballs.
  • Turkey: Also, you could use ground turkey instead of beef, and swap out the beef broth for chicken broth.
  • Veggies: Feel free to add other vegetables you might like.

How to make Crockpot Italian Meatball Soup?

If you want to make it in the Crockpot, it is similarly simple.

How to store it?

Prior to storing it, ensure the soup is completely cooled. Then, transfer it to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

How to freeze the Instant Pot Meatball Soup?

  • I recommend using quart bags for this soup. Use a cup to transfer the soup from the pot into the bag. Then, squeeze out excess air and seal the bags. The bags can nicely be stored in the freezer for up to 3-4 months.
  • To thaw the soup, remove it from the freezer the night before serving, or put the sealed soup bag in warm water to thaw it faster.
  • Heat in a soup pan and simmer for 5-10 minutes.


A Natural Pressure Release means that the pressure is released gradually. For a Natural Pressure Release, you click on Keep Warm, and wait 10 minutes, after which you open the valve and let any leftover pressure to release. Another option is to Turn Off/Unplug the pressure cooker, wait 10 minutes and after that open the valve.

A natural release is usually used when cooking soups, meat in a large amount of sauce, pasta or steel-cut oats. This method prevents any foam from the dish to shoot out through the valve, which can happen during a Quick Pressure Release.

Start Cooking

For the Soup

Heat olive oil in a large, wide pot over medium flame and sear the meat on all sides.

Remove meat from pot and add onion, garlic, parsnip, and sweet potato. Sauté for several minutes.

Add tomatoes and sauté for two more minutes.

Return the meat to the pot. Add the potatoes, stock or water, soy sauce, and celery. Cover pot and bring to a boil.

Lower the flame and allow to simmer for two hours.

Add the lentils and spices and cook for another hour, until both lentils and meat are very soft.

To serve, arrange puff pastry sticks (see below) across each soup bowl.

Prepare Puff Pastry Sticks

Meanwhile, prepare the sticks: Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).

Combine oil and spices in a small bowl.

Brush the puff pastry dough with the oil and spice mixture and cut into 2-cm strips.

Fold each strip in half, while stretching the dough.

Twist each end in the opposite direction so that you have a corkscrew shape.

Arrange the strips on a cookie sheet lined with Gefen Parchment Paper and bake for 10 minutes, until golden. (You can brush more oil onto the dough before baking.)